How to Cook the Perfect Soft Boiled Egg

How to Cook the Perfect Soft Boiled Egg

Sounds simple, but cooking the perfect soft boiled egg takes some skill, technique and strategy. My plan for luscious soft boiled eggs works!

Cooking the Perfect Soft Boiled Egg

Alright before we learn how to cook the perfect soft boiled egg, it’s important to know that there are variables that can make a difference in outcome. 

Some of these things are:

  • Temperature of the egg when put into the boiling water.
  • Number of eggs you’re cooking at one time. 
  • Type of yolk you prefer, from runny to slightly firm.
  • Amount of time cooked.
  • Stopping the cooking process. 
  • Elevation at which the eggs are cooked.
  • Size of the egg.
  • And, more. 

The Perfect Soft Boiled Egg Time

My strategy and techniques are based upon a soft boiled egg where the yolk is somewhat firm but still you get the real creamy softness of the yolk

If you prefer the yolk more runny, then reducing the cooking time by 30 to 45 seconds can help accomplish a less firm and cooked yolk. 

For me, the main thing is to have the white of the egg nice and basically cooked. 

Foolproof Soft Boiled Eggs

Sometimes perfecting a simple cooking technique like cooking soft boiled eggs takes practice. 

Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get the precise result you want the first, second or even the third time. 

I learned to cook boiled eggs from who of all, but my husband Ben! I mean I can cook just about anything, but the soft boiled egg, well, it just eluded me from perfection. 

However, after finally listening to him (yeah, I know, we all sometimes tune out our spouses!), and watching repeatedly, I sucked up my pride and began using his strategy. 

Perfect Soft Boiled Egg

Another thing about learning to master this soft boiled egg? Well, I got tired of asking Ben to make me soft boiled eggs!

Yes, it’s like the proverb, ‘teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime’! You give that persona fish, and, guess what, he/she eats that one fish! 

Soft Boiled Egg Timing

Timing is everything. My technique is seven minutes, but if you want to reduce that time by 30 seconds, maybe err on the side of caution, then do so. 

Set the timer. It’s a MUST. Once you put those eggs in the boiling water and you cover the pot, set that timer! 

And, don’t think that your soft boiled eggs are just good for breakfast! On the contrary. That’s why I typically do four to six eggs at a time. I want to have them for serving with other things like this Soto Ayam (chicken soup!) and Vietnamese Bokchoy Shrimp Soup! Or how about salmon and eggs for lunch! 

Now if you’re really getting into Asian cooking, then you’ll certainly want to learn the simple method of ‘velveting’ meat for tenderness, juiciness and silkiness! I learned it from a Pro!

How Long to Cook a Soft Boiled Egg

If you ask, how long to cook the egg? Well, it depends on what you want the outcome to be. We have variables that count. 

I know I know, it sounds like we’re doing a major science experiment, and, in some ways we are. You want to factor in everything that can impact this egg’s outcome. And, speaking of the outcome, well, I love serving these eggs in noodle bowls like this Udon Noodle Breakfast Bowl

However, I guarantee you that you will become the master of your boiled egg universe with some practice. 

How to Cook the Perfect Soft Boiled Egg

How to Cook the Perfect Soft Boiled Egg

How to Cook the Perfect Soft Boiled Egg

Yield: Six Eggs


  • 6 cups water
  • 6 eggs, room temperature, pasture-raised
  • 2 cups ice
  • Sea salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Fill a heavy medium pot (with lid) with six cups of water. Turn heat to high. Cover and let the water come to a roaring boil.
  2. Carefully put one egg on a large spoon and submerge gently into the boiling water. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
  3. Cover the pot. Put lid slightly askew to allow steam to escape. Leave heat on medium high so eggs can continue boiling. Set timer for seven minutes.
  4. When done, remove to the sink. Drain off the hot water. Run cold tap water into the pot to cool it down immediately. You may do this a couple of times.
  5. Add two cups of ice. Let the eggs sit about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pot and use as needed.

Your sharing is GOLDEN! Thank you!

Your sharing and comments help me stay in business! Share a photo if you make the recipe #allyskitchen Thank you! xo Ally

How to Cook the Perfect Soft Boiled Egg


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  1. Best tip I ever got with soft boiled eggs to shell is tap all over and then use a teaspoon to remove the shell. It all comes off remarkably!

    1. Well, now that’s a clever trick, Ginny! Thank you! xoxx ally

  2. I can’t wait to try soft boiled eggs again as I haven’t had them since I was a child many years ago & I loved them. We used to serve them in special little egg cups. Thanks for the directions on how to prepare them. That also reminds me that I have an egg coddler but don’t remember the timing with the coddler. Any ideas? Maybe place the covered coddler in boiling water for 4 minutes??? I don’t recall! Do you know how?

    1. Hi, Kathleen! You’re so very welcome. The eggs are just right for us using the recipe. No, I don’t know anything about a coddler. I suppose I’d Google! oxxo ally

  3. Oh my goodness! These turned out so good even when I served them on a paper plate! Haha. These eggs are my new all time favorite. The yolk has to be a perfect doneness for me to like eggs and these were THAT! Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks of cooking, Ally!

    1. Nancy!!!! OMG, I’m thrilled! I mean are we crazy getting all excited about soft boiled eggs! Ha ha ha! Well, I’m so so glad it worked for you. I tried to make it simple and cover all the bases, but you never know. I did 10 yesterday and we’ll eat on them all week! Love having you here! xoxx ally

  4. Milly Miller says:

    Your recipe does not say what temperature to leave the eggs on after you put the cover back on. If I put the cover on when the temp is set at high they’re going to boil all over the kitchen periover the kitchen. I’m wondering if you meant to take it off the heat at this point?

    1. HI, Milly! Thanks for that question. I’ve made the clarification in #3 of the directions. Yes, leave heat on medium high so water will continue to boil. Put lid on slightly askew (to let steam escape) and it won’t boil over. Hope you try it! xox ally

  5. Joann Gross1mith says:

    Hi Ally. anxious to do this recipe They look yummy. Here’s a tip you probably know.. when ready to crack the shell, first crack the top and bottom and then once or twice on the side.Shell will peel off quickly and at times in one piece. Well that might have been a good day. Looking forward from you to some Greek cuisine discoveries. Been to Santorini twice and find it great for the soul. Enjoy a piece of moussaka for me.

    1. Joann! Hey, thanks for that tip! Always need new ways to peel those soft boiled eggs, lvu! Yes, the Greek adventure is going to be quite delicious! xoxx ally

  6. Jeri Dubec says:

    Love this! Is it always seven minutes no matter how many eggs?


    1. Hey, Jeri! Thank you! This is tested on that number of eggs. I’ve not tried it w/more, but have w/less and it still works (well, most of the time!). I usually do 6 eggs. You can decrease the time by 30 to 60 seconds if you want the yolks more runny. I like mine kind of velvety creamy runny (make sense, lol!). And, of course, more time would result in a more firm yolk. It’s good to practice and adjust timing if you’d like, seconds make differences. Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again soon! xoxx ally

  7. Hi! Do you leave the egg shell on or off when storing the boiled eggs?

    1. I leave the shells on the eggs (refrigerated) until ready to eat!

      1. Wonderful! I can’t wait to try it out. Thanks!

        1. Rika! Great! A lot of folks have tried and been very successful! Please let me know, luv! xoxx ally

  8. Hi! Do you store your eggs with the shell on or off?

  9. Lola Barnes says:

    You didn’t tell us to turn off the burner…. do you turn off the burner… do we leave the pan on the burner or do we move to a cool burner? I think I know but tell me please. Thank you.

    1. Yes, after the time of boiling. Remove the pot to the sink and start the cool down process. (I show that in the video.) Yes, turn off the burner. Thanks for pointing this out, Lola!

      1. Anonymous says:

        Hi Ally
        After you put the eggs in the pot and cover it do you leave the burner on and boiling for the 7 minutes.

        1. Hi darlin, yes. You can put the lid askew. If you want them more soft do 6 minutes 🥰

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